*Not all looks shown from every collection
Armani focused on Asian inspirations for his fall-winter 2014 couture collection. It showed through the origami folding and pagoda shoulders. The various prints and details in an all black, red, white color scheme created a uniquely cohesive and powerful feel. While I admire Armani’s creativity, the organza accents felt gimmicky and foolish. However, the organza furs and theatrical gowns added a pleasant touch of dark romance and harkened back to over-the-top couture.
Giambattista Valli’s couture collection was very airy and feminine, but held a certain winter moodiness. The graphic black and white linear ensembles were stunning by themselves, but when mixed with delicate florals, genius. The flirtatious silhouettes, detailed draping, and furry, ombre gowns were true innovations that no one has ever seen before. All of the intricate lacework, embellishments, and luxurious fabrics were a true testament to haute couture. The Giambattista Valli girl has style to burn and is stronger than ever. From the first look to the last look, this collection was pure perfection, bravo.
Le Corbusier, Karl Lagerfeld’s favorite architect, was the inspiration for the Chanel couture collection. Le Corbusier’s stark minimalism combined with classic, baroque detailing made for an extraordinary tension. The Chanel Atelier molded the garments instead of seaming, which is an incredible feat to have accomplished so perfectly. Each piece appeared as a beautiful and innovative sculpture that melded both past and future.
Ulyana Sergeenko’s collection was inspired by Russia in the 1940s. Feminine dresses balanced out strong, utilitarian garments. Cold weather favorites like bold furs and strict leather bundled over slinky silhouettes added vintage-like glamour. I loved the mysterious, cinematic attitude of the collection. I saw the story of an epic romance between a military officer and a 40s pin-up girl unfolding before me, incredibly beautiful.
As usual, black-tie formal wear was the dress-code of Elie Saab’s couture runway. Grand chandeliers, towering marble columns, and a pitch black floor that reflected the marvelous clothes lent a hand to the overall feeling of great splendor. Heavily embroidered, wasp waisted dresses, a muted color palette with shocking pops of jewel tones, and warm fur shawls were elegant highlights that sung a certain fall exquisiteness. Unmistakably elegant, and definitively Haute Couture.
Valentino’s take on ancient Roman dressing turned into beautiful depictions of powerful goddesses floating down the runway. Simplistic styles were enhanced by intense lace and beadwork and hand painted daisies. I loved the light and billowy dresses tied down by thick leather belts and twisting gladiator sandals. The easiness and relaxed vibe of each piece in this collection made for a new type of couture: simple, yet highly impactful.
Raf Simons looked back to several varying centuries for inspiration for his Dior Haute Couture collection. Whether it was Mary Antoinette ball gowns, astronaut-like jumpsuits, or cocooning 40s coats, every ensemble looked like a gorgeous dream. I love the paradox between a heavily beaded jacket over a relaxed and paired down top and trousers. The wasp-waisted gowns with couture elements somehow seemed easy, simplistic, and modern, which is exactly how Dior should be with Raf at the helm.